Sheela Mahadevan (KCL) - 2020-21 Students

Writing Between Languages: Translation and Multilingualism in contemporary literatures of Asia

This project explores how and why contemporary writers of Asian origin employ modes of multilingualism and translation in their writing. It asks: what are the effects and theoretical implications of these processes, and how do translation and multilingualism intersect in these literatures? These questions are explored through an analysis of a corpus of understudied contemporary literatures by multilingual writers of Asian origin, whose lives and writing have been shaped by histories of colonialism, diaspora and multilingual regions. This methodology is complemented by a close reading of existing translations and a self-reflective process of translating certain works in the corpus to cast light on how multilingualism may be transformed in the process of translation, the ways in which the translation of multilingual literatures may be interpreted as a mode of creative writing, and the effects and theoretical implications of such processes. Overall, the project investigates the ways in which multilingual literatures and their translations complicate existing concepts which assume a division between source and target languages, original and translated texts, and roles of translator and writer.

Primary supervisor: Professor Nicholas Harrison, KCL
Secondary supervisor: Professor Javed Majeed, KCL

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